Ms. Ziyi Wang, participant in the 2016-17 China Champions Program (CCP) and World Champion in sailboating, spent the afternoon of May 3 enjoying her sport at the Minnetonka Yacht Club. As a bonus, she had the chance to meet and sail with U.S. National and Olympic sailing coach Gordy Bowers, who is currently head coach of the Lake Minnetonka Sailing School, and Peter Wattson, president of the Minnetonka Yacht Club.
Ms. Wang was accompanied by Ms. Chunlu Wang, Olympic gold medalist in short track speed skating, and Ms. Jill Griffiths, a member of the CCP advisory board. The group also spent time sailing and interacting with high school students from the sailing school.
The China Champions Program is sponsored by the University’s School of Kinesiology, the College of Education and Human Development and the China Center.
Participants in the third annual China Champions Program(CCP) were celebrated at their Graduation Celebration on Friday, April 28, at Burton Hall Atrium.
Six Chinese Olympic and world champion athletes and a coachenrolled in the China Champions Program (CCP) arrived last fall to attend specially designed courses in the School of Kinesiology. CCP provides academic courses, seminars, workshops and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes to accomplished athletes from China as a collaborative educational project with Beijing Sport University (BSU).
This year’s participants, the third class since 2014, enjoyed a wide range of educational, cultural and social activities in addition to their formal courses, such as meeting former Vice President Walter Mondale at Regent Peggy Lucas’ home, attending all major sporting events at UMN and in the Twin Cities area, and visiting local schools to share their experiences with students.
At the celebration, Ms. Maud Meng, President and CEO of Infinite Media Co. Ltd. in China, presented the University of Minnesota Foundation with a gift of $100,000 to benefit the CCP. Kinesiology Director Li Li Ji met with Ms. Meng on a recent trip to China and shared the CCP’s mission and goals. “Ms. Meng pledged to provide financial support to the CCP to expand the participants’ careers and to share their skills and experiences with Chinese society,” said Ji. Ms. Meng’s generous support also helps to advance University, CEHD and School of Kinesiology international initiatives.
Participants in this year’s China Champions Program were: Lu Xiudong, national taekwondo coach and professor at BSU; Chunlu Wang, Xue Kong and Lin Meng, all short track speed skating Olympic gold medalists; Haixia Liu, World Champion and record holder for weightlifting; Di Mu, World Champion in bicycling; and Ziyi Wang, World Champion in sailboating.
The IAS is a University-wide interdisciplinary center, and a resource for scholars, artists, professionals, and students who are engaged in a wide variety of study and practice. It also serves as a bridge between the University and the wider community as a place where people meet and ideas are exchanged.
The Historical Injustices Working Group also includes Yuichiro Onishi from the Department of African American & African Studies, Catherine Squires from the Department of Communication Studies, Hana Maruyama from the Department of American Studies and John Matsunaga from Asian American Studies. “We are interested in tracing the University of Minnesota’s ties to both slavery and Japanese wartime resettlement,” says Joubert. “In particular, I am looking at developing a curriculum based on our research.”
Joubert also notes that the working group is hoping to tie their research findings to the movement of slaves up and down the Mississippi river. “Part of project is to increase students’ of color engagement in the river itself,” says Joubert, adding that all school-aged children in Minnesota study African American history as part of the curriculum and ethnic studies are now offered as an elective in the state of Minnesota where he sees the curriculum he is developing as a good fit.
“Almost all universities have an invisible history related to colonialism and racial injustice,” says Joubert. “Whether it was the removal of indigineous people off lands or racial injustices related to civil rights.” He adds that he hopes the Historical Injustices Working Group can shed light on some of these issues.
Family Social Science (FSOS) has launched a new master’s degree program in prevention science that will help prepare family science practitioners to prevent or moderate major human dysfunctions before they occur.
The Master of Arts (M.A.) in Prevention Science will equip students to confront many of the daunting challenges facing today’s families and communities, including trauma and drug addiction. The M.A. in Prevention Science will also help students develop strategies to promote the health and well-being of families.
Core coursework for the M.A. in Prevention Science gives students a solid foundation in statistics and research methodology, family conceptual frameworks, and ethics. Students can choose the Plan A which includes a thesis, or the Plan B which includes a project and a paper.
The M.A. in Prevention Science is intended for individuals who would like to build a career that supports families and works to redirect maladaptive behaviors.
The program is currently accepting applications for Fall 2017. The application deadline is March 1, 2017.
FSOS professors Abi Gewirtz and Bill Doherty offered post-election thoughts in local and national media outlets, respectively.
Local NBC affiliate, KARE 11 featured Abi Gewirtz and her thoughts on talking to kids regarding the current mood in the country.
The Wall Street Journal featured Bill Doherty and his thoughts on moving forward in familial relationships when parties disagree on the outcome of the election. Independent.co.uk also featured Doherty’s thoughts.
Department of Family Social Science faculty members Cathy Solheim and Liz Wieling, along with FSOS Ph.D. student Jaime Ballard, recently published a breakthrough textbook titled, Immigrant and Refugee Families: Global Perspectives on Displacement and Resettlement Experiences.
While they were preparing to teach “Global Perspectives on Immigrant and Refugee Families,” Solheim and Wieling noticed that while there was a wealth of information regarding the immigrant experiences of individuals, very few textbooks focused on immigration experiences as it pertained to the family as a whole.
With the help of Ballard, Solheim and Wieling created a text that discusses current theoretical frameworks and synthesizes current research specific to immigrant and refugee families.
WCCO recently featured Department of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty in a segment about how much time parents spend with their children.
According to the “Good Question” segment with Heather Brown, moms are spending about four hours a week more with their kids than they did 40 – 50 years ago. Dads are also spending more time with their kids.
“The big thing is interacting with them compared with just being around,” said Doherty.
He said there is no magic formula, but the key is being intentional with your time, and balancing quantity and quality of time.
Department of Family Social Science professor Bill Doherty was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about the importance of doing spontaneous things as a family.
The author of the article tells the story of how she listened to her 10-year old son when he said he wanted to go from Pittsburgh to Cleveland to see the victory parade for the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the 2016 NBA Championship.
Despite the crowds, booked hotel rooms, and the heat, the family took an impromptu road trip from Philadelphia to Cleveland for one reason: it would be memorable.
While parenting is often about structure and setting limits, “sometimes it’s good to say ‘what the heck’, and break out of what we normally do,” Doherty said.
He also said, “The thing about spontaneous family events is that they are a bit over the top. That is what makes them memorable.”
In a recent Star Tribune article about how kids spend their summers, Family Social Science associate professor Jodi Dworkin says it’s okay for kids to be bored.
Every year, parents in Minnesota face the quandary of what to do with their children during the summer, when school is not in session, according to a recent Star Tribune article.
For parents of young children there are many options, like day care or summer camp, but for parents of “tweens” (ages approximately from 12 to 15), summer can be a challenge. Tweens are too old for day care, but too young to work.
As a result, parents try to fill summers with activities for tweens, which are often expensive, to keep them active, off their phones, and out of trouble.
However, Dworkin says despite the pressure parents feel to fill up their kids’ summers with enriching activities, it’s OK for them to be bored, too.
“Allowing your children to be bored not only gives them a chance to be creative, it also gives them a chance to refresh and get ready for another school year,” she said.
The project investigates homeless youth’s perceptions of their education and employment interests, needs, and potential interventions. This award will bring together the Office to End Homelessness (OEH) and FSOS to give voice to youth interests and desires.
FSOS department head, Lynne Borden, recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for an event with Joining Forces.
As part of the event titled, “Operation Educate the Educators: Sharing Successes and Setting Sights for the Future,” Dr. Borden met Dr. Jill Biden.
Joining Forces is an organization that works on behalf of military families. In addition to her duties as department head, Dr. Borden also runs the REACH lab, which also focuses on helping military families.
Department of Family Social Science associate Professor Joyce Serido teamed up with Extension educators across the state to create a pilot program that helps students and families make better choices about financing higher education.
The program began in January, and Serido will meet with Extension educators in February to fine tune the program to make it accessible to various groups statewide.
In a MinnPost article, Department of Family Social Science associate professor Jenifer McGuire stressed the importance of an inclusive approach when it comes to gender, and said the sooner we can talk to children regarding gender, the better.
Over the past decade, Center researchers have conducted dozens of campus racial climate studies at predominantly white postsecondary institutions across the United States. In response to recent college student protests, the Center is offering a special four-part Virtual PennSummitthat will help higher education administrators and faculty better understand and respond more effectively to racism on their campuses. Educators can register for a single online module or for the full series.
Professor Shaun R. Harper, founder and executive director of the Center, will lead these four modules in the Virtual PennSummit:
December 7 – MODULE 1: HOW PEOPLE OF COLOR EXPERIENCE RACISM ON CAMPUS – Center researchers will present data from campus racial climate studies we have conducted with students, faculty, and staff members of color at predominantly white institutions across the nation. Specific examples of people’s routine encounters with racial microaggressions and overt forms of racism on a wide range of campuses will be furnished. We will also help Penn Summit participants understand the persistence, pervasiveness, and undercurrents of racial problems that students of color are presently protesting.
December 9 – MODULE 2: RACE-CONSCIOUS INSTITUTIONAL LEADERSHIP– This module will focus on what campus leaders must do to more effectively respond to racism on campus. Emphasis will be placed on listening to and feeling what people of color say about their racialized experiences; reflecting on one’s own racial identity and prior racial socialization; and understanding what race-conscious institutional leadership entails. Leaders holding themselves and colleagues with whom they work more accountable for actualizing institutional missions and fostering inclusive campus environments will also be emphasized.
December 14 – MODULE 3: RACE-CONSCIOUSNESS IN CLASSROOMS AND CURRICULA: STRATEGIES FOR COLLEGE FACULTY – Topics in this module will include: creating inclusive classroom environments for students from all racial and ethnic groups; productively raising race questions and seemingly difficult topics in class discussions; making good educational use of racial tensions that arise between students in classroom conversations and in group work; and thoughtfully integrating racial topics and scholars of color into curricula across academic fields. Attention will also be paid to being more self-reflective and race-conscious in one’s approaches to teaching and learning.
December 16 – MODULE 4: STRATEGICALLY IMPROVING CAMPUS RACIAL CLIMATES – In this module, strategies will be presented for assessing and proactively addressing racial climate problems before they erupt in protest, or lead to marginalization and high attrition rates among students and employees of color. Presenters will engage participants in a strategic planning exercise focused on three levels: individual self, organizational unit (e.g., office, department/division, academic school), and the larger college/university campus. This planning exercise will help participants identify immediate and longer-term strategic actions for their specific contexts.
Content for each virtual module will be delivered live via Google Hangout . To bolster engagement, participants will be encouraged to pose questions through Facebook, Twitter, and Google Hangout. Presenters will periodically read and respond aloud to questions posed by persons tuned into the live broadcast.
There is no registration deadline. Please be sure to purchase a ticket for each module in which you intend to participate. Because the Institute is virtual, a webcam is required for participation. Please direct all inquiries about the PennSummit on Responding to Racism on College and University Campuses to firstname.lastname@example.org or (215) 898-7820.
Reflecting on her twenty years of teaching and her long-term goals for pedagogy and practice, Linda Buturian (PsTL) explains why the learning abroad program she developed in partnership with Cathy Solheim (FSoS) epitomizes her ongoing quest.
“Thailand comes the closest to my ideal of a teaching and learning environment: Engaging in socially relevant topics in an applied experiential learning in a small community that’s interactive with communities, and in natural places,” says Buturian.
Buturian has been trying to recreate what she experienced as an undergraduate while living and studying in community with a handful of peers and professors in the mountains of Oregon. “We lived in cabins and studied the big ideas together,” she recalls. “We read Jacques Ellul’s The Technological Society then traveled to San Francisco and experienced it. We read Annie Dillard and Wendell Berry, discussed the importance of wilderness, then backpacked into the Three Sisters in the Oregon Cascades.
During three weeks in May of 2015, Buturian and Solheim brought 20 students to Thailand to study the impact of globalization on environmental sustainability, economic and family well-being and community development as it relates to changes along the Mekong River. The program braids Buturian’s research on and interest in international rivers and her experience using digital stories for teaching and learning, with Solheim’s extensive knowledge of Thai culture and family social sciences scholarship. “To design a course with Cathy and experience this transformative learning with the students was profound to me.”
While in Thailand, the curriculum involved fieldwork, individual student blog posts and a group blog project. Buturian and Solheim wanted topics for the group project to emerge from the trip’s main activities:
Visiting with the students at the Suksasongkroh Chiang Dao School, a boarding school that provides children from some of the poorest hill villages a chance to escape human trafficking and poverty;
Interacting with students and community leaders at the Mekong River School, which is dedicated to helping young people maintain and learn about their cultural traditions, including protecting and cherishing the natural environment and resources of the Mekong River;
And, a homestay at Mae Kampong, a strong village community that derives income from tea, coffee and its eco-homestay program.
An unexpected and emotional connection occurred during a discussion with one of the tour guides, Eve. She shared her personal stories about the effects of human trafficking on her family and friends. Eve grew up in northern Thailand in the Golden Triangle in a poor area and told the students about aunts, cousins and friends who were sold into sex trafficking operations in Bangkok. Many have died of HIV. Eve’s mother encouraged her to “be the best” at her school and Eve received a scholarship as the top girl in her class that allowed her to elude this fate. The second ranked girl was trafficked and later died.
To unpack the broad subject of globalization and identify group blog topics, the class held a three-hour meeting. “We had some ideas of what the topics would be, but we wanted the students to choose and articulate them and group themselves based on their interests,” says Buturian. As a class, they settled on: globalization and human trafficking; globalization and its impact on the environment, primarily on the Mekong River and the villagers who live along the river; and, globalization and education. The topic of Buddhism also emerged based on an engaging talk presented by a Hmong Buddhist monk in Chang Mai. Coalescing around interest, students combined research, interviews, reflections and images to develop their group blogs. This work set the stage for the final individual project to be completed once the students returned home: a digital story reflecting on what they learned through their experiences.
Buturian, who has been using digital stories since 2008, defines them as 5-10 minute movies students create and share online, using images, audio and text. She realized the level of student engagement with the genre early on: recognizing it harnesses students’ visual knowledge while also providing a shareable end product. “I started to gather the research as to why digital stories were working,” says Buturian. Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, which classifies creating as higher-order thinking, helped to shed light on why creating the digital story is both challenging and potentially transformative. “This is a creating act. This is why it is both hard and rewarding.”
The students’ digital stories incorporate personal reflections and photographs from their time in Thailand. Buturian and Solheim were mindful to assign the digital story once students had returned to campus to ensure the students weren’t sidetracked by technology and miss chances to learn and connect while in Thailand.
“Students will be navigating the complex challenges and opportunities that come along with globalization,” says Buturian. “As teachers, it is incumbent upon us to provide hopeful, collaborative models and experiences to help students not only envision more sustainable and just societies, but to realize the power and joy of participating in creating those communities.”
Thailand 2015 student blogs and digital stories can be found here.